Desert Hot Springs CA (Low 55 Partly Sunny High 83) We knew that the College of the Desert Street Fair held every Saturday and Sunday was a big deal, we just did not know how big of a deal it was. When any event has a shuttle service you know it is big. Here it is from a distance.
Here we are smack dab in the middle of it.
There were all kinds of vendors, Jo just about bought a pair of Birkenstocks, and we did get a pair of reading sunglasses. We mainly came for the farmers market and we are glad that we did. We got some of the best fresh strawberries we have had in a while. Add to that fresh asparagus, some date treats, and homemade bread.
Luckily it had cooled off a little from the day before when Desert HOT Springs was more appropriate. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Desert Hot Springs CA (Low 53 Partly Sunny High 84)
We drove recently from the dead zone, aka Castle Rock Shores RV Resort near Parker Arizona to Desert Hot Springs California, adding that state to our visited map. It has been almost 2 years since we added a state,
Here is the route we took from Goodyear to Parker and then into Desert Hot Springs.
Observations about the dead zone (will talk more about the park later and what we did while there) it was like we were camping :-)
It was not as bad as we originally thought, we adapted well, there were a couple of spaces we could walk to and sometimes get cell coverage, park had free wifi at the clubhouse so we hit that once a day. After the dead zone we then dealt with some computer issues here in Desert Hot Springs that was preventing us to access some, but not all, websites. Blogger of course was one of the sites we couldn't get to. That just got resolved so hopefully we are back in business; back traveling and back blogging.
The Desert Hot Springs area (near Palm Springs) is gorgeous. Here is a picture of the park from our back window with JJ admiring the view.
It was good to add another state, continuing our full-time adventures.
Goodyear AZ (Low 46 Sunny Currently 50) Parker AZ (Currently 56 Sunny High 76) We do this every time we stay some place for an extended period of time, and vow to not do it the next time, yet we do it again. What you say, what we do is get a lot disorganized. When you are moving every few days you keep stuff put up but when not moving you get lazy. Plus we have a bad habit of storing stuff like groceries on the top of the slideouts. Not good when you have to bring the slideouts in for a trip :-) A trip is what we plan to do today, we are "planning" on heading to Castle Rock Shores near Parker Arizona right on the Colorado River.
The hitch in the giddy-up is a low inside dual tire that Bob is going to go check out in a few minutes once Discount Tires is open. We'll keep you posted, and yes we did vow to be more organized our next long stay at a place. Only time will tell :-) Till next time, Bob and Jo
As we sit here in Goodyear Arizona awaiting our repairs and making our final preparations for departure the jets of Luke Air Force Base are flying overhead in the bright blue skies. Unlike others we do not mind the noise and call it the sound of freedom. Luke has a history dating back to World War II. Constructed in 1941 and named after the first airman to win the Medal of Honor Luke's mission was training fighter pilots and more than 12,000 graduated before the end of the war. Over the years the jets have changed, from F-16s in the 1990s to Luke's newest mission, training pilots on the new F-35 Lightning II.
Luke is attractive for training in part to clear skies year round and its close proximity to the desolate Barry Goldwater Range where the pilots fly training missions. We also look forward to 2 things upon our arrival to the southwest; our first saguaro sighting and the sound of freedom. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Blogging funk :-( We've been doing more than we blogged about but it seems like the blogging has not flowed like it usually does. Let's hope that a change in scenery will help.
Where did the time go? We cannot believe how fast the last couple of weeks have gone, we swear we had another week to prepare for our departure.
More mechanical issues :-( But just when we thought we were leaving we noticed a leak on our hydraulic automatic levelers and then our awning quit working. We will get these things looked at fixed as fast as possible and then head out, hopefully towards the end of next week.
NCAA Tourney! Here is an update on the NCAA tourney and Bob's bracket.
As mentioned before he went 13-3 on the first day and then 11-5 on the second, feeling pretty good about his bracket. When the Round of 32 finished he picked 10 of the 16 winners correctly. His Final 4 is still intact so we shall see how it goes in the Sweet 16. Speaking of the Sweet 16 Iowa State overcame an injury to one of their best players at the end of the first game and beat North Carolina on Sunday in one of the best games of the tourney so far to advance to the Sweet 16 against UConn. That game is later today. It has been a great tourney with a lot of exciting games.
Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Partly Sunny High 82) Bob was so close to a billion dollars he could taste it :-) For those that don't know Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans are sponsoring a NCAA Tournament bracket challenge, if you pick all 63 games right you win a billion dollars.
Bob entered his bracket and for awhile it was looking good, in fact he picked the first 9 games correctly. Sorry Weavers he picked Dayton over Ohio State. But then Bob was eliminated from the contest when he picked St. Joseph's over UConn. He ended the day 13-3 though so his bracket is still looking pretty good. Like the Cubs fans say there is always next year for the billion dollars.
The tourney continues today with 16 more games including Iowa State's first game. It will be tough to top yesterday's games as a new record was set with 4 overtime games which extended Bob's watching time to almost 14 hours. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 46 Sunny High 82) It's that time of year again, March Madness, NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tourneys. For the Men's March Madness Bob will be camped out in the recliner beginning today. All games are live but Thursday and Friday are the best days because there can sometimes be 4 games on at a time. The tourneys mean a little bit more this year as both the Iowa State Men (#3 Seed) and the Women (#7 Seed) are playing.
The nice thing about being in the valley of the sun is that we are not on daylight savings time so our time matches Pacific Daylight time. What that means is that the games start earlier (TruTV Tipoff Show at 8a and games begin 9a) and thusly end earlier. Bob will do it all today, 16 men's games, and then again tomorrow with another 16 games! Jo will be using the Genie mini client and watching her shows, reading books, visiting friends, etc. She is a trooper to put up with Bob at this time of year, heck all of the year :-)
With 13-14 hours of basketball each day we will fall a little further behind in our blog reading and commenting :-) Till next time, Bob
Goodyear AZ (Low 46 Sunny High 82) We "planned" to go to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix with some friends recently on the free admission day. We wanted to see the Chiluhy Glass exhibit.
Glass sculptures like the above displayed throughout the park. Plus it was the beginning of wildflower season. The key words above were "planned" and "free". Seniors just love their free days, plus we didn't realize that it was also the week of spring break for some students in the area. Words cannot describe how busy it was, so busy in fact that there was a sign on the entrance and a guard there saying that it was temporarily closed. So now what to do? The four of us had talked about visiting the IKEA store in Tempe since none of us had ever visited so we headed there.
This was quite an experience, two floors, 355,000 sq. ft. on 21 acres. You follow a serpentine path on both floors through a lot of exhibits. Plus at the end there is a grocery area. We enjoyed the tour and bought a couple of things and then it was time for lunch. Close to IKEA is Rudy's Country Store and BBQ.
Rudy's has very good Texas BBQ brisket, some of the moistest and tender brisket we have ever had and we are from the Kansas City area. What follows lunch is sometimes dessert. We had heard good things about pie at the Pecan Grove Restaurant & Pie Co. in Chandler. We had pecan, strawberry rhubarb ie, lemon cream, and german chocolate slices. We bonused because as we were sitting there the clock turned to 3p and on 3p on Tuesday it is 1/2 price whole pie. We went home with a peach pie for our friends and a strawberry rhubarb pie for us. We both agree it is very good pie.
Proves that when you are flexible there sometimes might be a reward. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Sunny and HOT High 86) Our time here in the valley of the sun is winding down. One telltale sign is that we just had the last grapefruit from the tree next to our site.
With a couple of weeks to go we are making plans to eat at our favorite places one last time, saying our goodbyes to people already leaving, making plans to meet on the road somewhere, last minute doctor appointments, etc. Once we leave here it will be one week at each place so want to get a lot of stuff done here before we leave. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Sunny High 82) No we don't mean how frozen a lot of the country was this winter :-) We are done gloating about our nice winter here in Arizona.
We mean that we recently saw the Oscar winning best animated film, Frozen.
We have to admit we are suckers for animated films but have not like some of the recent ones so we were a little reluctant to see this one. Jo wanted to because she heard the music and singing was very good. When it won not only best animated picture and best song for "Let it Go" we decided to give it a try. We are so glad that we did, this is a good old fashioned Disney animated film. Good story, based on the "Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson, incredible music and singing. "Let it Go" was our favorite of all the Oscar songs so we were kind of surprised when it won. Here is "Let it Go" from youtube.
A very good film, give it a try. Till next time, Bob and Jo
NOTE: Had some trouble getting the map to display. If you click "View Larger Map" just below the map and use the zoom + or - buttons on the upper left of the map the route should appear. Sorry for this, maybe just another Google issue.
We will be checking off a few more bucket list items; Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier, Glacier National Park, etc. Let us know what you think, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Sunny High 82) We won't be changing our clocks for awhile.
We are currently in Arizona which does not follow Daylight Savings Time. We remain in Mountain Standard Time (UTC-8 currently) and when we leave here we move into Pacific Daylight Time which will be the same time. We will remain at the same time until August when we cross into Mountain Daylight Time. This may be the longest stretch we have had at the same time since we began full-timing in September 2009. A side note is that the clock that we had on our blog to show our current time is no longer supported by blogger so we are looking for a new one which we hope to have shortly. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Sunny High 82) Bob has completed planning the first part of the trip and we have reservations up to July 4th at the Port of Newport RV Park in Newport Oregon. Here is what the trip looks like with the markers being the parks we are staying at.
View Larger Map Now Bob is working on the next leg, from Newport OR to Denver. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Partly Sunny High 80) To all those having a horrible winter, we feel your pain. But having spent last winter in the Kansas City area we also feel that we can still gloat a little more this winter :-) We recently had a Luau at our park. We sat outside in the sun in shorts and enjoyed the good weather and company. It was cloudy during the day but as soon as we got seated it cleared off. Floating in the pool is a centerpiece that a couple of very crafty ladies spent a few hours on.
Of course there was food
The dessert table was incredible, pineapple upside down cake that you could cover with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, etc.
After all that the floating centerpiece was lit
and there was dancing to a live band.
Sorry couldn't resist, This is us as the Luau was winding down,
Goodyear AZ (Low 51 Partial Sun High 77) Got this in the January 2014 Newsletter from Air Safe Hitches and it does a great job of explaining why we chose this nomadic lifestyle.
Ten Reasons To Retire To An RV
by RV Lifestyle Expert Author
Retirement is the time for a simpler life and the chance to
do things you didn't have time for when working. Living the RV lifestyle in
retirement has several advantages. Here are ten.
Ten more reasons to retire to an RV
1. Live your
retirement dreams. Are there places
you’ve wanted to visit but never took the time or perhaps didn’t have the money
to do so? Now you can travel at your leisure and visit all those places.
Whether it’s visiting national parks, following the Oregon
Trail, playing at amusement parks or getting your fill of country
western music, it’s all there for you.
2. Take your house
with you: Instead of having to pack and unpack and hassle with airports or
schlepping luggage in and out of motels, everything is there. Some RVs come
with air or pillow-top mattresses, or you can add your own. Instead of sleeping
on a lumpy mattress or too hard one night, then too soft the next, enjoy your
own. Your bathroom is clean and you can relax at night on your comfortable sofa
or La-Z-Boy recliner.
3. Zero yard work
and cleaning house is a breeze: With only a couple of hundred square feet to
clean, cleaning house takes just a few minutes. There is no lawn to mow or yard
4. Stay active: Most
experts agree that staying active prolongs and improves quality of life. Living
in an RV provides many ways to stay active physically and mentally. When
traveling, you have to stay engaged with life!
5. Live less expensively:
An RV is much less expensive to maintain than a house. Nightly campground fees
are normally less than property tax and maintenance expenses on a stick house.
Many expenses in the RV lifestyle can be controlled so you can cut back in a
budget category when needed.
6. Meet new people
and make new friends: RVers are very
friendly people. Opportunities are constant to meet new people. Get involved
with an RV club or at an RV resort and find a whole new community. Working or
volunteering as you travel is another way to meet people and make friends.
7. One house, many
views: When you get tired of one view, move on to the next. RVing is the ideal
way to snowbird. Go where it is cool in the summer and where it is warm in the
winter. Change your ocean view to a mountain
view in a matter of a few hours.
8. No property
taxes: Enjoy home ownership (your RV) without property taxes. Rent an RV space
for as long as you want, then move.
9. Have many new
experiences: You can actively have so many
new experiences and be part of them rather than experience them vicariously on
the boob tube. Stand where Lewis and Clark stood on their Voyage of Discovery.
Crew for a hot air balloon at Albuquerque.
Kayak among whales in Glacier Bay. Hike part
of the Appalachian Trail. Or visit historical
monuments; an auto tour at Gettysburg
makes you feel like you are part of the Civil War.
10. Visit friends and
relatives: Visiting friends and relatives in an RV makes visiting so much more
fun. Even if you are parked in their driveway, you have your own space. Or, stay
at a nearby RV park so you are not instant babysitters!
A pretty job of explaining full-timing, and adding to our list of things to do and places to visit.
Goodyear AZ (Low 54 Clouds and Sun High 70) We saw the movie "Winter's Tale" recently.
It is kind of difficult to describe this movie except to say that we liked it, we actually liked it a lot. The makers of the film have this synopsis, "Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, the film is a story of miracle, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil." Others have described it as part science fiction, part romance. We have to agree with all of that. Anytime you have animal spirit guides, demons, time travel, action and romance you pretty have us. Give this movie a try, we think you will like it. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 59 Showers High 68) There's been a change in the weather, there's been a change in us. It is amazing how fast you can adapt to the warmer temperatures. 68 degrees sounds wonderful to most of the country right now but with the rain and being cooler we hate to admit but we have noticed it, feeling a little chilly at 68 is pretty incredible. But if we think we are bad we just have to listen to the locals on the news or in the stores, with all the whining you'd think they were having a body part removed. The nice thing about "bad" weather around here is that it usually only lasts a couple of days and at least this cold spell is bringing much need rain. Here is a picture from our spring training visit to show just how nice the weather usually is.
Goodyear AZ (Low 54 Sunny and Windy High 79) One thing we missed a lot not coming down here last winter was Spring Training for the Cactus League. We went to our first game yesterday. The park sure looked nice,
As you can see the sun was shining and it was hot in the sun, no sympathy we know from those in the Midwest right now.
Jo put on her big hat and she said it felt 5 degrees cooler. Although a nice crowd it wasn't wall to wall people so we moved down a few seats into the shade and it dropped 10-15 degrees with a nice gentle breeze. A beautiful day for baseball. We went to see the Kansas City Royals play the Texas Rangers in Surprise.
We all commented how you could see a noticeable lack of energy from the Royals from the gitgo, which showed in the scoreboard, Rangers 11 Royals 7. It was still a great day and the game didn't count. Here are more photos from the stadium.
Paul, this one was for you :-) Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 51 Mostly Sunny High 80) Bob started feeling poorly last weekend and it lasted for a few days. We were supposed to meet up with Jim & Sandie from Where are the Dixons Today? for lunch on Monday with other bloggers but we had to cancel. Sandie called it "The Crud" and said it took her about a week to get over it, never a better technical term as far as Bob is concerned :-) This has put us a little behind in our blog reading and writing so we have some catch up to do. Bob did comment that after last winter in Missouri recovering from surgery
and some down time here in Arizona this winter he would gladly choose Arizona every time :-)
Goodyear AZ (Low 51 Warm with Decreasing Clouds High 82) Time to time we like to give tips on what makes our full-timing life a little easier. We hit upon the neatest socks we ever have worn, bamboo socks.
We never have had socks that fit so well, and stay fitting great throughout the day and after a few cycles in the washer/dryer. Don't know how they do it but they feel like they also have arch support. Again we know we won't get any sympathy but with all the heat lately our feet also keep cool with these socks. Give them a try and let us know what you think. They come in all styles even diabetic socks. We get them at vendor days in Happy Trails in Surprise AZ but they are also available online. Here is the vendor at Happy Trails, Best Bamboo Socks Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 52 Sunshine mixing with Clouds High 84) This is you
This is us
Yeah, we had to turn on our air conditioner yesterday, the first time this year. It was 87 degrees on our outdoor thermometer, just too warm to sit outside and wait for the big cool down of the desert. You can begin the sympathy anytime :-) Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Very Warm with Sunshine High 83) Bob has started laying out our travel once we leave the Phoenix area the end of March. We have to be in Denver in September for some medical tests and we have to figure in reservations for at least Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. Probably would be a good idea to have reservations from Memorial Day to Labor Day since we have needed them in the past in Minnesota and Michigan. Here is what we have so far, 1 week at each location: View Larger Map Any comments will be appreciated on route, stops, need for reservations, etc. We are seeing a number of things we have wanted to see for a long time: London Bridge, Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia National Park, Reagan Library, Hearst Castle, Yosemite, Monterey Aquarium, Crater Lake, Oregon Coast, etc. (and that is just the first part of the trip). We also know that there is a lot more to see, when Bob tried to fit all in California he wanted to see he mapped out the weeks and he was into August already so he had to scale back. Leaves something for next trip! Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 45 Sunny and Warm High 83) We know that most of the time we think of the BWE (Baskerville Weather Effect) as being colder than normal but as defined the BWE is any extreme; hot or cold, more rain than normal, more snow than normal, etc. where we are located. Consider that the normal high is in the low 70s at this time of the year this qualifies as the BWE.
With all the cold weather across the country we feel that maybe we should feel a little guilty with all this good weather. But we are enjoying it so much we just don't feel guilty :-) Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 44 Sunny High 82) Where there is a will there usually is a way. Before we began full-timing we really liked the take and bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's, especially the thinner deLite crust. Unfortunately the deLite crust measures 14 inches (large) which is too big for our convection oven. The 4 times we used the propane oven in 4 years was for the deLite Papa Murphy pizza. We had their pizza more often but went with regular crust and medium sized since it fit in the convection. When we got rid of the propane oven for the dishwasher we thought that our deLite pizza days was over for awhile. Then Jo hit upon the idea to cut the pizza in half and cook it that way. To be brutally honest Bob wasn't so sure and resisted the idea until we tried it recently. Just another case of Bob being wrong, you'd think he would be used to it by now :-) Didn't think to take a before picture but here is the pizza cut in half, toppings rolled back so the crust in the middle could be rolled up and form a crust line. Bob's days working at Pizza Hut all those years ago were not a waste.
We then cooked it, a Greek Pepperoni pizza, in the convection and it was wonderful. You'd think Jo would get tired of being right but she isn't :-) Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 42 Sunny High 71) Ever had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? Well Z Tejas Southwestern Grill in Phoenix recently had one of those days, or was it Bob having one of those days?
We had wanted to eat there for awhile after getting a to go menu while visiting Texaz Grill for some great chicken fried steak. Bob wanted to try a smoked chicken chile relleno and Jo wanted to try a wild mushroom enchilada.
When our food arrived Bob tried to break off a corner and it felt like he was hitting the plate instead of the entree. Using a serrated knife he was barely able to cut through. No problem they will make another, besides Jo's wild mushroom enchilada was very good and their corn bread is also excellent :-)
The manager came by and was all apologetic and offered something to eat while Bob's new entree was cooking, probably to save some food for Jo. The smoked chicken chorizo soup sounded good and it was. The new entree arrived shortly thereafter and it was really good, but then, you just knew there was a but coming didn't ya? Bob saw what looked like the stem of the chile on his plate but it was not the stem it was a chicken bone. They smoke and hand pick the chicken there so both the waitress and the manager were very apologetic again. Luckily it was a big enough piece that it never got to the mouth or became a choking hazard. We finished the rest of the meal and asked for to go containers and Bob's drink in a to go cup. Guess what happens next, they were all out of lids for the to go cups. We bring this up not to condemn Z Tejas but to compliment them. When you eat out as much as we do there is going to be problems, how the place handles the problem is what you are looking for. The waitress did not hesitate to let the manager know when the problems occurred. The manager was very attentive after that even offering a free cup of soup while Bob waited. When it came time to pay both of our meals were free. We made sure to tip the waitress for the full value of the meals and told her we would not hesitate to eat there again. The food was excellent and when problems surfaced they were handled correctly. So if you are ever in Arizona, California, Utah or Texas give Z Tejas a chance, you won't be disappointed. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 45 Cloudy with Sprinkles High 63) We recently used our loyalty shirt and cup while we watched "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit".
This movie is based on the Jack Ryan character in the Tom Clancy novels but is not based on a particular book. This is kind of a reboot of the previous movies as it deals with how Jack gets into the CIA and his first field assignment after a few years sitting behind a desk. Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have portrayed Jack Ryan in previous movies. This time it is Chris Pine and he did a great job. He is Captain Kirk after all so that is to be expected :-) We both really liked this movie, of course we do have a soft spot with movies with a lot of action, which this one had. With Kevin Costner and Keira Knightly alongside Chris Pine the acting was top notch and the story was pretty good too. All in all a good time had by all. Till next time, Bob and Jo
Goodyear AZ (Low 49 Partly Sunny High 73) We had quite an adventurous day yesterday, we got out of our comfort zone a little and we survived. We went with some friends to the Cirque D'Or show at the Herberger theatre in downtown Phoenix. Adventurous in so many ways; rode light rail to downtown instead of driving, out after dark, walked around downtown after dark, rode light rail after dark, and then driving after dark. Just proves you need to step out of your comfort zone now and then because we had a great time. After we departed the light rail we walked to Pizzeria Bianco for supper.
Arguably one of the best pizza places in the country (New York Times, Food and Wine, Zagat, James Beard winner) and it did not disappoint. we split the "Sonny Boy" a simple mixture of cheese, tomato sauce, salami and olives that was wonderful, you could tell the ingredients were fresh. Add this place to your list of places to eat.
We then walked to the Herberger Theater for Cirque D'Or. We have to agree with the advertising on this one, it was one of the most electrifying and mesmerizing shows that we have ever seen. Featuring a cast of some of the youngest world champion acrobats, contortionists, and aerial artists from around the world, although the theme of this show was Shanghai China, this award winning spectacle left us breathless at times. Even when they failed, which was inevitable but incredibly rare considering some of the stunts they were attempting, the show was still great. Their failure made it seem even more real and more amazing. Too many highlights to mention but we will list a few that really caught our eye. First was an acrobat that did a front facing split and then just flexed his thighs and lifted straight up. Second was another acrobat that stacked chair upon chair, we think maybe at least a dozen and then did stunts on the stack of chairs as it got higher and higher. Lastly, and probably the best, were the hoop divers. Hoops were stacked on top of each other and the team dove through them. Of course they had to keep adding hoops until they were about 12 feet off of the ground and diving, twisting, some forward and incredibly some backwards, through these hoops. We don't know how frequent it is for a performance to get a standing ovation in Phoenix but Cirque D'Or got one last night. Since you cannot take photos or videos here are some images we captured from the internet.
If Cirque D'Or is ever available we would recommend your attendance, you won't be disappointed. It was a acrobatic variety show with some of the best acts we have ever seen. Till next time, Bob and Jo